QUALITY QUESTIONS: So what exactly is a high-quality online learning program? Is what we have "high quality"? How do we judge its quality? (Hint: it isn't just test scores.) No simple answers but intriguing questions during this two-day Gates Foundation sponsored meeting (on Twitter at #qualitysym). A buzzword and a metaphor: it's about "a-learning" (not e-learning) says Arizona State U professor Jim Gee.
Much like online games develop communities of people who help each other learn the nuances of a game, "a-learning" aims to extend the idea of constructing a helpful community around a student in an online learning program. Great learning environments inspire students to become part of the "affinity space" and support one another's learning.
Harvard's Chris Dede points out that edtech can't just scale by "replicating" what works in one place. We need to explore the question of quality, adapt ideas to suit specific environments, try out "lite" implementations that we can adapt, and ultimately shift the ownership of an idea to its users. Dede: "We are moving from the era of the player piano to the jazz combo."